Let's talk about faith! There's a big misconception when it comes to faith. To overcome, we need to learn more about who and what we are in Christ, what we become when we accept Christ, our identity, our authority, and our dominion here on Earth along with the importance of partnering with God. Now I know that could sound ridiculous. Partnering with God? Surely God doesn't need us as a partner. I understand that. Obviously, he doesn't. I believe that God is a big, big God. He created us. He doesn't need us, but this is how he chose to operate here on earth, and therefore he does need us to operate in the way and matter we were created to. Scripture tells us this, but we miss it often. And due to this, we can find ourselves begging God, in an attempt to almost manipulate him, we find ourselves begging him to do something that he's already told us to do all while missing what we've been equipped with and the fact that the same spirit that rose Jesus Christ from the dead dwells in you and I. (see Romans 8:11)
The topic of faith is obviously huge and there's no way we're covering it in one post. What I wanted to do was start off with some fundamentals, some key truths about faith and build from there. The reason is that for years I spent a period of time in what felt like a black cloud around me. I had all these negative emotions and I was praying for God to take them from me and I also had this misconception that perhaps God wanted me to feel this way to teach me something.
Now, after learning the goodness of God, and in that goodness, once again, what he's done for us, and our identity through him, I was finally able to break free. Or at the very least really start to as I'm not saying I have it all figured out or I'm perfect, but this was the turning point for me. God said, this is what I've already done for you on Calvary and this is what I've already done inside of you. That you are a new man. Your old self is dead. And it was me carrying around this garbage believing somehow that this is what God wanted me to do.
“So whoever is in Christ is a new creation: the old things have passed away; behold, new things have come.”
2 Corinthians 5:17 NAB
Now I believe that God can turn all things into his good (Romans 8:28). Absolutely. We need to cover more along the will of God and his sovereignty and that will be discussed in other posts/videos but in this post right here, I really wanted to talk specifically about mountain moving faith. See, now I get it. We may be in the valley or we could find ourselves in the valley. That's what I did. And we want to be on the mountain top. I get that. But right here, I want him to say that we're not just mountain climbers, but we are mountain movers! We could destroy mountains we face in our lives because of the one who is inside of us. And I believe, I'm just being honest, that this could be literal. With faith can literally move a mountain but how about the mountains that are in our lives? Just as in David versus Goliath, what are our giants? The faith that David had to take down the giant, I’m sure we could find giants in our life to take down as well. This could be financial circumstances or even relational ones. This could be just things aren't going well in your community or within your home. You understand that there could be lots of mountains. We through faith are called to be like Christ. You could call it co-laborers or co-pilots. Whatever you want to call it, it’s all because of him and with him because he’s operating through you. It's while we decrease that he increases.
“So Jesus said to them, “Because of your unbelief; for assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you.”
Matthew 17:20 NKJV
YOU can say to this mountain move from here to there and it will move. It says YOU can say. It's telling us that we can do it. That it’s an option for us. He wants us to operate through faith, but it's us having a part in it and he's not telling us to beg God to move the mountains. Remember Jesus said that he could only do what he sees the Father doing (John 5:19). Jesus then told us where to go and what to do. There is already a calling on us with instructions on how to live out the gospels and bring the kingdom to earth now.
All too often we miss this and we back it up with a misconception of the sovereignty of God as though we were puppets or muppets. That everything that we're doing right now, the words that I'm speaking/writing, that everything is completely controlled by God and only God and that's the only option that we have and there's no way that we're operating outside the will of God. I absolutely don't believe that. And when we do believe this, we have a wrong view of God. It isn’t hard for us to picture God truly being good if everything that happens is God's will including all the crap we see on this planet? And how do we pray in faith if we are unsure of his will? Scripture is telling us throughout how to operate and to operate through faith.
Jesus calmed the storm. He wasn't creating it. That's big theological point in itself. But remember Jesus said what? Jesus said he can do what he sees the father doing. He revealed the trueness, the fullness of God, the father. Once again, you can say to this mountain, you can command it to move from here to there and it will move. In this verse Matthew 17:20, to give more context behind it, this is when the disciples come to Jesus. Remember they couldn't heal the boy with epilepsy? and so when they come to him and Jesus heals. First off lets state the fact that Jesus healed the boy. Now they come to him and ask why couldn't they do it? Jesus responds at this point saying, how long shall I be with you? He's rebuking their lack of faith.
Here are the disciples that had been spending a great amount of time with Jesus. They had seen what he had done and what were they doing now? So he's rebuking their faith. We see that throughout scripture. Remember when Peter was asked why he doubted when walking on water? In this incident, Jesus is saying the job didn’t get done because of their faith. He didn't say because it wasn’t the will of God that the boy didn’t get healed nor did he say that he himself had to be the one to do it. No, he's teaching the disciples what to do. And what does he say was is the force behind it? Faith.
In the scripture we also hear if you have faith the size of a mustard seed you will be able to say to this mountain, move from here to here and it will move. First of all, we should go back to the parable of the mustard seed a few chapters before this, because what happens is we can look at it and perhaps feel a bit condemned, that all we need is a little faith (which is true), meaning we may question our faith if things don’t go the way they should and ponder how our faith is so small. You may take it as “I really thought I believed and I must not have had the faith a size of a mustard seed” or you can be excited and be like, wow, I don't really need much faith to do big things. In the parable of the mustard seed, we hear that it is of the smallest seeds but it grows to be large. Meaning that there is a growing process that inside of you, you may have the faith, the size of a mustard seed, but we need to water it and we need to water it with the truth. We need a renewing of the mind. We need to be living a life that's Christ-like and we need to be obedient. We need to be living that holy life. This is how I see it. A full devotion abiding in him that increases our faith. No, it’s not about works, but a process of dying to yourself and letting him live through us.
We are watering that seed and not getting caught up in the cares of the world and watering things that don't matter. We're not living a life that's distracted. We are focused: our lens is on Jesus. Does that make sense? First of all, YOU are something big, not because of you, absolutely not, but because of the one who lives inside of you. So it's our faith in him. It's not our faith in our own abilities. You are made for something great. You really truly are.
And so it's our responsibility to be operating in this faith and to be enforcers of God here on earth. And it is through the means of faith, it's enforcing what's already been done, that we've already won. We've already won because he won! This garbage of us holding onto our old selves is preventing us from walking into more of the fullness of who we are.
I don't believe that Jesus has a rival, this isn't some superhero versus villain story. Jesus conquered it, it is done. He doesn't have a rival. He has somebody who's lying to his believers and attempting to distract along with it. Being in a fallen world we can get caught up in it, us holding onto our own baggage, our old self that is preventing us from walking in his fullness. We need to start operating in higher levels of faith. We need to be in more prayer. We need to be spending more time with God in his word, in community, growing, growing, and growing. I'm still learning this. Please don't believe that I have it all figured out. But I do know two things: God is extremely good and he's still operating today.
You are commanding the mountain through your faith. Let’s be real, we tend to like to pass responsibility off. We could create theologies and debates all around this subject and conclude that something is or is not God’s will to remove responsibility from ourselves. Why? Because we didn't operate in faith. So we like to blame God. Yes, I believe that God has already won. I do. So don't take me wrong. God's extremely powerful and he can intervene. He is sovereign and he can do what he pleases but in his sovereignty, he has chosen to operate through us and we take the sovereignty and we make it into an excuse when something doesn’t go a certain way. And we come up with sayings that are not even biblical or we're not understanding who we are now in the new covenant and who we are as born again believers filled with the holy spirit. This is why it’s vital to know the heart of the scripture. This is what he's chosen for us, and remember he's calling us friends and within friends, there takes some work in building that friendship and we need to spend time together. True friends don't just speak and never listen, it’s time to listen more and perhaps it’s time we don't use God as a genie but embrace him as our Father.
The same spirit that raised Jesus Christ from the dead dwells in you. There's so much telling you who you are in him. Did Jesus not go and tell us to do the same thing or even more did Jesus not say that we can do greater works than him because he's going to the father (John 14:12)? Greater works! But we oftentimes just dismiss this stuff because it does take a sense of responsibility. We don't want to spend too much time in prayer, in our quiet times and being in the prayer closet or being in scripture. We just want to add a little bit by going to church on Sunday, and I'm not saying that to condemn you. I'm saying that because it's the truth. We like to just be like, oh, you know, do the good enough. Guys, we don't need the good enough anymore. We need to step it up. The entire body of Christ needs you. It needs you right now to be operating in your gifts and the gift that was given to you, the Holy Spirit.
You are something large, really, really big. Jesus didn't say you can move mountains just for the heck of it. You really could have a relationship with your Creator that leaves you in the absolute certainty of his realness and love for you. Trust me, I have no doubt that God is real. You have the authority. It was given to you. See, there are people who could be operating in power, but without the authority. If you are a born again believer, you have authority. You are no longer weak, because of what you've been transformed into. You are something big. Don't let this false humility get in your way. A barrier for you operating who you are and getting to your destiny, living that life that you know deep inside that you want, the desires that you have to go open up a business, to go write a book, to go on mission trips, whatever it is, while waking up joyfully and having this relationship with your Creator. You can do it.
Don't let this other junk get in your way, not now you're done with that. That's your old self. It's blocking you. It's lies. It's distorting your true self. It’s distorting your view. It's giving you blurry vision. Your vision should be on Christ and your true self because your spirit is perfect. Okay? It's us getting in the way, but deep inside, you know, you know what I'm talking about.
Find your community. I like to say, find your tribe. The people who believe similar. I'm not saying drop a church just because you don't have the exact same views. That's ridiculous. Guys, we have too much division, way too much division. We need to stop dividing. We need to unite. Seriously because we are just fighting within and the enemy loves that. Let them be distracted with themselves, great, fight within the four walls. Go do nothing outside of the church. It's ridiculous. Be Holy Spirit led on where to attend and keep in mind your community doesn't even necessarily mean it has to be a church building.
I'm just being real. You may be in small groups but you need people. You need to meet regularly and yes, I believe you should have a good church that you go to. Pray about it, see where you're at and if you end up in a new place, okay. But I'm not telling you to go break ties with your pastor because you don't see eye to eye. I know there are some fundamental truths that should line up, but overall we need to unite.
Know who you are. This is just the beginning of talking about faith. But if you could do one thing right now, go pray, go get in scripture and start being more intentional of doing that every single day. We plan for other things. Why can't we plan to spend time with God? We think, Whoa, Sunday when church comes, that's my time. No, come on, We need to do this. Be more intentional. Set time away to spend with your Creator. He loves you. I love you.